Beth Moore, who once held to the Biblical position regarding gender roles, has been on a social media tirade for the last several days, attacking all Christians and churches who don’t believe women should be preaching to men. Far from her humble beginnings when she was first promoted by the Southern Baptist publishing house, LifeWay Christian Resources, Moore is now ruthlessly attacking the position of Southern Baptists and other evangelical Christians who helped to give her a start.
Moore was first marketed to evangelicals by LifeWay as a female Bible teacher who produced material exclusively for women. As Moore’s prominence grew, discerning believers noticed that she quickly went from teaching to what can only be described as preaching. However tough to swallow for those who believe in Biblical gender roles, this evolution in Moore’s ministry went almost altogether unchallenged because she preached to primarily to women.
However, Moore then began to teach men. Moore started out as an aerobics instructor (a calling for which she is infinitely more suitable) within the church (megachurches have such things) and then became a female Sunday School teacher. However, men would show up in the class as she describes:
Being a woman called to leadership within and simultaneously beyond those walls [of an SBC church] was complicated to say the least but I worked within the system. After all, I had no personal aspirations to preach nor was it my aim to teach men. If men showed up in my class, I did not throw them out. I taught.
Moore then started by teaching a mixed-gender Sunday School class in her Southern Baptist Church, Houston First Baptist. The door for her to teach both sexes was opened more widely. Moore excused this departure of Biblical orthodoxy by claiming that she had the blessing of her pastor to do so (as though, by the dismissive wave of his hand, a pastor could sweep away the Word of God).
Christianity Today, in 2010, wrote the following about her authority in teaching over men.
Before she begins, she addresses the few men in the crowd. A Southern Baptist, Moore emphasizes that her ministry is intended for women. “The gentlemen who had such courage to come into this place tonight, into this estrogen fest if you will ever find one in your entire life: we are so blessed to have you. I do not desire to have any kind of authority over you.”
But eventually, Moore began to open her events to men and started to market herself – with LifeWay’s complicit assistance – to more and more men, and even as a preacher to men.
Beth Moore’s own Baptist circles wouldn’t allow such a thing, so Moore began to teach at charismatic events hosted by Hillsong Church. It’s here that Moore began to run in a far more charismatic pack, as Pentecostals are much more amenable to blurred gender roles (Montanist prophets have long included women, including the 3rd Century mystics, Maximilla and Priscilla). This is when Beth Moore started to hang out with the worst charismatic prophetesses and false teachers in the ‘business,’ including Hillsong’s Christine Caine and also Joyce Meyer. Moore also became a regular on the insanely charismatic TBN network on the program of James Robison.
About this time, discerning Christians began to be more vocal about Beth Moore’s changing theology. Although not evident in her LifeWay studies (which probably aren’t written by her, and at the very least are put through a hefty theological review process), her preaching grew increasingly wild-eyed and fanatical.
Moore began to deliver prophecies she said were straight from the mouth of God, and he told her to write them down and deliver them to His people. She began to speak of God’s direct revelation to her, telling her to do random things like comb a guy’s hair and the airport and go give money to a specific person on a park bench. Pentecostals cheered, but discerning Christians sat back with their arms folded, not happy about where this seemed to be heading.
Moore received surprising affirmation from John Piper about this time, who encouraged men to listen to Beth Moore preach. Piper had received criticism for preaching alongside Beth Moore at Louie Giglio’s Passion Conference, and doubled-down with this video fully recommending her to men.
Largely, however, Beth Moore was increasingly persona non grata among the evangelical elite. Although Moore had LifeWay and its powerful influence behind her in the form of Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer – two of her biggest cheerleaders who used her the sake of filthy lucre – she was not accepted largely by the Intelligentsia, mostly because her teaching is famously subpar. For men like those at The Gospel Coalition, Moore’s teaching was…embarrassingly bad.
However, all that changed when evangelicalism got ‘woke.’ Led by Russell Moore at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (who is also a council member at The Gospel Coalition, both of which are leftist political organizations funded by progressive dark money), Beth Moore was suddenly in vogue among those who before considered her nothing but a clown with more makeup.
Beth Moore suddenly became a champion of the #churchtoo movement, which capitalized on the tragic victimhood of women for the sake of ideological and political change. Backed by leftist SBC entities, the ERLC and LifeWay, Moore joined forces with Karen Swallow Prior (another self-professed feminist who works for the SBC) to serve the head of Paige Patterson on a platter. This was of symbolic importance, as leftist SBC entities controlled by New Calvinists* weaponized feminists to target the “Traditionalist” conservative leader.
From that point forward, the Evangelical Intelligentsia saw Beth Moore as a beautiful Useful Idiot, and have sought to use her like chattel. Beth Moore was suddenly cool among the white-collar theological establishment, where she had been previously rejected, instead of just by the unwashed masses of desperate housewives craving pop-theology. They have largely used Moore to spread their Social Justice agenda among her fairly ignorant support base of undiscerning women. Today, if you look at Beth Moore’s Twitter feed, you’ll see that it is almost entirely full of Social Justice talking points.
If the Evangelical Intelligentsia is woke, Beth Moore is the highly-caffeinated, wide-eyed, crazy woman, heading leftward as fast as her flapping jaws can take her and the glowing compliments from Russell Moore and the Social Justice Latte Mafia are the wind beneath her wings.
Although this is detailed in another recent article, over the course of the last week, Moore has now come fully out of the closet as a feminist and has begun to attack the very position of those Southern Baptists who got her career started. Her position has not evolved. It has mutated.
Responding to Owen Strachan, who is a professor of theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (and current Senior Fellow), Beth Moore blisteringly attacked him for stating that women shouldn’t preach to men on Sunday during the regular church assembly (a position she held to herself not long ago).
Strachan may or may not have been responding to a recent controversy written about at Pulpit & Pen wrote about previously, Beth Moore Wickedly Mocks Complementarian Position, Flaunts Her Preaching. Moore and other women were mocking the traditional viewpoint on this subject, rubbing it in that they would be preaching on Mother’s Day to gathered Southern Baptist assemblies. Founders’ Ministries also put out a video about the controversy, in which they were uncharacteristically blunt, claiming that whatever pastor lets Beth Moore preach should be rebuked.
Moore, who feels as though she should be able to spout out anything she wants without pushback, responded:
For Beth Moore, it’s been a long journey from a womens-only aerobics instructor to a womens-only Sunday School teacher (with a few male stragglers) to a mixed-gender Sunday School teacher to a women’s’ conference preacher to a preacher to both men and women within the gathered assembly on the Lord’s Day. That’s a lot of steps, and it all began with a pastor who thought it was a good idea to put this theological lightweight in spandex into a lecturn.
Ken Silva, Chris Rosebrough, and myself (JD Hall) were all warning you about Beth Moore as early as 2008 and before. We explained her deep theological issues, not the least of which (or the greatest) is her feminism. But for any honest person surveying her career, they should be able to see that Moore has either radically shifted her positions or (more likely), has held them in secret, waiting for the right time for the church to catch up to culture.
Secrecy is not the mark of a Christian teacher. It’s the mark of the devil.
For more on Beth Moore’s recent social media meltdown over women preachers, click here.
[Editor’s Note: Contributed by JD Hall]
*By New Calvinists, we do not mean “all Calvinists,” but we are specifically referring to those who are described here. The author of this post is a Calvinist and doesn’t desire to paint with a broad brush.